The subscription business model, which offers consumers recurring access to products and services for an often subsidized fee, has become a key marketing strategy for various industries, including consumer electronics.
Many people’s first experiences with digital subscriptions started with Netflix, Youtube, Spotify, and other streaming services.
For some, it was the VIP experience that subscriptions like Amazon Prime gave, especially in the pandemic when shopping all but moved online.
For some, it’s the fact that you can now rent home appliances and equipment-as-a-service, without having to pay a huge chunk of money.
And with brands releasing newer models faster than ever, it is increasingly difficult to keep up and enjoy the latest versions of your favorite tech.
The subscription model for consumer electronics is also ushering in more sustainability in consumer tech, battling and reckoning with landfills and garbage dumps of discarded electronic items.
Did you know that the global consumer electronics market is expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2025?
According to Gartner, by 2023, 75% of DTC brands will offer a subscription experience, signaling the future of the eCommerce landscape.
The subscription business model, first introduced in the 1600s, is now a key to sustained growth, driven by the increasing popularity of smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices.
Consistent value for a subsidized, recurring price – people have lapped it up!
There are significant benefits that any eCommerce or Shopify brand owner should remember if they’re planning to create their own subscription business model.
Let’s look into each in detail below:
What is a Consumer Electronics Subscription Model?
In a consumer electronics subscription model, consumers pay a recurring fee, typically monthly or annually and enjoy continuous, uninterrupted access to products or services in exchange for a regular fee.
At a time when customer acquisition costs are tripling and retention has become the word of the day, this system replaces traditional one-time transactions, offering a more predictable revenue stream for businesses
It’s also a lot more pocket friendly for consumers to be able to use and afford such products while bringing in more market share for the brand.
Why Are Consumer Electronics Subscription Models Popular?
There are many benefits for an e-commerce brand in this day and age by creating a robust subscription model for consumer electronics. Here are a few key ones to note:
Subscription models are more affordable than purchasing products outright.
After the pandemic, and the growing economic downturn, more and more consumers are eager to explore options that give them access to the newest products on a temporary basis without burning a hole in their wallets.
There are also multiple options available for any niche in the market and shoppers are hesitant to commit to a product without testing it out in their daily lives – a subscription model can give consumers a taste of how life can be with a product, ensuring a higher repeat rate and loyalty to the brand.
With multiple things battling for our attention every day, any process that makes our lives more efficient and easy to maintain is a bonus.
No one wants to worry about going to the store to buy products, and they want to be able to easily replace products that break or become outdated on autopilot.
Buying an electronics subscription can make this incredibly easy and simple!
The world’s the oyster. Or it needs to be, according to consumers.
Subscription models offer consumers a variety of products to choose from, allowing them to try multiple versions and find what works best for them.
Let’s not forget consumer electronic junkies – people are interested in trying new products or want to be able to access the latest and greatest technology at the fraction of the cost it would take to buy each item.
4. Predictable Revenue
Electronic subscription business models help businesses forecast their revenue, increasing financial security and stability.
With economic uncertainty shadowing each strategy and expansion plan, knowing your MRR, or Monthly Recurring Revenue (calculated by multiplying the number of subscribers by the subscription fee), shows your demand in the market, and also informs investors of your rate of success.
5. Building Strong Consumer Relationships
The subscription model for consumer electronics allows businesses to nurture engaging and loyal customer relationships by making customers feel valued.
‘We know you want to try our products and here’s an affordable and automated way to do so’ -this convenience and seamless experience cements positive emotion around and for your brand.
6. Enhanced Value Proposition
Traditional transactional business models, due to needing a huge profit margin from each sale, often discourage potential consumers with high prices slapped onto their products.
However, by spreading out the cost through periodic charges, businesses can make their products more accessible and financially attractive.
This also increases the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) due to lower recurring fees and straightforward subscription management services.
7. In-depth Customer Knowledge
Understanding customers – their preferences, needs, dislikes – helps businesses tailor their offerings to align with customer requirements, thus boosting sales.
With a subscription-based business model, you can get deep and insightful customer data that can drive product development based on customer needs.
You can zero in on product-market fit – live and with your highly engaged audience!
8. Hassle-free Regular Refills
Consumers hate having to run out of essential items like razor heads or household appliances.
“Didn’t I just buy that last month? Now, I have to place another order and wait until it’s delivered and lose out on multiple days of convenience?”
Subscriptions eliminate the possibility of running out and take away the mental burden of having to remember through automation.
Examples of Consumer Electronics Subscription Models
While there are many upcoming consumer electronics subscription model examples today, let’s take a look at some that have been leading the space:
Grover is a German company that offers a subscription service for consumer electronics products. It emphasizes the advantages of renting, which is freedom and flexibility.
You can rent, swap and upgrade a variety of products from Grover, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and cameras.
Have you heard of the iPhone Upgrade Program which starts at less than $40 per month?
Apple saw that lots of their customers were happy using their old iPhones for many years. This meant fewer people were buying new phones each year.
As a result, it started a program to make it cheaper and easier for people to get the newest phone. This way, Apple hoped more people would not find it too expensive to buy the latest iPhone.
Samsung recently introduced a consumer electronics subscription service, called Samsung Access, for products like Tab S7, Galaxy A models, wearables, smart home devices, TVs, and notebooks and is set to keep expanding its offerings.
Launching a Subscription Business – How to Set Up a Consumer Electronics Subscription Model
Despite the many benefits, it does come with challenges, the primary one being churn where consumers discontinue their subscriptions unless a product, a bundle, or a service is closely aligned with customer needs.
If you’re considering setting up a consumer electronics subscription model, there are a few things you’ll need to remember:
1. Choose the right product
Evaluate product-market fit, validate the product idea, and only then decide the subscription model to be used.
Start with a small product range, to allow room for learning and adaptation while mitigating risks. Remember the needs of your target market and the types of products that are in high demand to zero in on your best offering.
2. Set your pricing
Consider the cost of the products you’re offering and compare it to the competition.
Think about product bundles, discounts, and additional services that can make the offer irresistible to a loyal customer.
3. Create a subscription plan
Your subscription plan should include the length of the subscription, the frequency of deliveries, any shipping costs, the average delivery time, and the cost of the subscription.
Create a pricing and comparison table to empower your customers in making an informed choice.
4. Market your subscription service
Once you’ve set up your consumer electronics subscription service, you’ll need to market it through social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization.
Also, utilize precious real estate on your product page, cart page, and even checkout page to remind customers if they are buying a single item, of the option and value of buying a subscription plan as that is when the intent is the highest.
The consumer electronics industry works differently from traditional retail sectors because products are higher-priced, often desired but not essential.
This is where the subscription model shines, providing consumers with an affordable way to use the latest electronics.
At Appstle, we understand the unique dynamics of the consumer electronics market and help you set up the right form of subscription boxes on your Shopify store.
When the average consumer has 4.1 paid subscriptions, and the number is expected to increase by 29% over the next three years), it is clear that subscription plans are more than just a revenue model.
They’re a way to deliver immense value to customers, effectively competing for mindshare in a world teeming with consumer apps. If you want sustainable, customer-focused, and profitable business growth for your Shopify store, reach out to our team today!